William E. Cleary Sr. | CNBNewsnet
This past December we wrote an editorial urging the mayor and council to do away with the street sweepers in Gloucester City as they were costing taxpayers too much money to operate. We suggested that the only way to reduce taxes in the City was to cut operating costs. And those cuts could begin by getting rid of those two sweepers.
According to the documents we received from an OPRA request the city received about $1,200 in 2018 from the parking tickets issued to people who blocked the sweeper. Compared that number to the cost of operating the sweeper which is estimated $136,369 in just salaries for two full-time employees and one part-time employee.
A further breakdown reveals the annual salary for each driver is $60,255 (that doesn't include health benefits). Both men work 40 hours per week. The PEO, a part-time position with no benefits, works 23 hours per week. The position pays $13.26 per hour or $15,859 annually.
As for the two full time employees we suggested they be utilized in the highway department doing other jobs. Presently they are assigned to those other jobs now whenever it snows, rains or the sweeper is broken down. When they retired don't replace them.
This Thursday night mayor and council will vote on two bond ordinances totaling $3.1 million. The money will be used to buy a number of things such as more vehicles, pave streets, a new fire department pumper and a new sweeper costing $217,000. We feel spending that much money for a new street sweeper is a mistake. That money could be spent on repaving more streets. Some of those streets have been neglected so long they are like cattle paths.
YEAR No. of Tickets issued TOTAL REVENUE
2014- 1,924 $1,220
2015 2,329 $ 1,506
2016 2,137 $ 1,366
2017 2,162 $ 1,382
*2018 1,688 $ 1,178
*up until 11-28-18
Another expenditure that seems to be excessive is the cost of city-owned vehicles. The city is buying several more vehicles with the $3.1 million bond ordinances that will be voted on at the June 27 council meeting 7:30 PM in the City Hall, 313 Monmouth Street. Our city is only 2 plus square miles and yet our research in 2016 revealed that the city-owned 141 pieces of equipment which includes 77 vehicles, with a total value of approximately $5,406,025.
A further breakdown in 2016 disclosed;
Department of Public Works/Highway Departments has 41 pieces of equipment of which 17 are vehicles, for a total value of $1,649,977.
The Police Department has 38 pieces of equipment of which 28 are vehicles, total value $878,112.
The Fire Department has 29 pieces of equipment, of which 11 are vehicles, total value $1,934,756.
The Water/Sewer Department owns 27 pieces of equipment of which 16 vehicles, total value $860,731.
The Housing Department has six pieces of equipment of which five are vehicles, the total value of $82,449.
After all these years writing about those who govern our city we know our suggestions are just hopeful wishes. Over those five-plus decades of MY career, the faces of the mayor and council change every so often but their policy of SPEND AND TAX has remained the same. That is all they know how to do is spend your money.
Public hearing and final adoption of the Bond ordinances will be held Thursday, June 27, at 7:30 PM, council chambers, 313 Monmouth Street.
published Gloucestercitynews.net | June 26, 2019